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Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to attend Narendra Modi’s swearing-in ceremony

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Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will attend the inauguration of Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi, his spokesman said on Saturday.

A statement from Mr. Sharif’s office said the Prime Minister had been invited this week by the BJP to attend the ceremony. Mr. Sharif has already congratulated Mr. Modi over his party’s landslide victory in the recent Lok Sabha elections.

State-run Pakistan Television said Mr. Sharif also would meet with President Pranab Mukherjee during his visit.

Sharif, who will reach New Delhi on Monday, would be accompanied by his Advisor on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, Special Assistant Tariq Fatemi and Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry, among others.

The announcement by the Prime Minister’s Office ended the suspense over Sharif’s visit that was being opposed by the hardliners in the establishment here.

The development came after Sharif’s brother and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif met Army chief Gen Raheel Sharif on Friday night for about half—an—hour and conveyed to him the importance of the visit to India for maintaining good relations between the two countries and peace in the region, PML—N party sources said.

Bilateral meeting

“According to the programme received from India, the Prime Minister will have a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Modi on the morning of May 27. The Prime Minister would also call on the President of India. The Prime Minister would return to Pakistan in the afternoon of May 27, 2014,” a Foreign Office statement said here.

Modi has invited all the leaders of member states of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) to the ceremony.

Sharif, while congratulating Modi on his party’s election victory, had invited him to visit Pakistan after assuming office.

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